SOPHIA SCROOBY PRESERVED by Martha Bacon

SOPHIA SCROOBY PRESERVED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

. . . Or, How The Daughter of an African Chieftain Is Kidnapped by Slavers, Sold to and Educated by a (colonial) New England Family, Transported to England Where She Makes Her Fortune Singing Italian Arias. Then Is Returned to the (just independent) States and Freedom with her Family. Nono-Pansy-Sophia teaches herself English by mimicking sailors, learns to write by copying letters from samplers, gradually becomes an accomplished young woman, impeccably comported. The idyll interrupted by the Revolution, Pansy drifts through the New World until she is taken to England and adopted by another benevolent household. La Belle Sauvage of New Haven (Connecticut) becomes the rage of Greenwich (England), carries over that inflexible moral poise suggestive of Clarissa Harlowe, although Sophia faces no temptation. The book has an eighteenth-century look: Sophia in cameo on the jacket; handsome, mannered illustrations and some elaborate lettering inside; a shorter-than-Fielding capsule preceding each chapter ""in which the reader"" is apprised of its end (but not the means--which may be just the gimmick to jostle attention spans). For mood, one of her rescuers says it straight: ""You are quite worthy of the pen of the author of The Castle of Otranto--a very pretty romance."" She's too good to be true (will girls know?) but she is viable, and the ensemble has integrity.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Little, Brown A.M.P.